How to assess if you need respite care and where to obtain it

  |   Alzheimer's & Dementia, Dementia, Respite Care

Where do you begin when your parent or spouse suffers from explosive episodes due to mental health issues, and you feel you are simply burning out?

First, I would check if there are certain “triggers” that cause the anger. Arcadia Home Care has developed this worksheet ARCADIA – Behavioural Tracking Record. Our Personal Support Workers use it to track behaviours and you may find it to be a helpful tool as well. 

Second, you may need to explore if medications are providing the best balance for all concerned. “Peacefully sedated” without quality of life is not what I would seek for anyone.

The next step is to determine whether either you feel comfortable taking breaks or vacation trips in order to ensure that there is some respite. (Having personally convinced past and current clients to take a vacation after years of being primary caregivers 24/7 is quite a feat — but the results likely saved them from long-term health and economic repercussions).

If it is possible for you to consider short or pro-longed respite care, a key decision has to be made: “Should my loved one stay home with a caregiver or be placed in a facility that provides short-term respite care”?

There are opportunity costs to keeping someone in a facility versus at home, and as the primary caregiver, you likely know them all.

However, if you are at the point of burn-out, I believe you require regular respite from being a caregiver. So you can keep caring in the long-run.

In my experience, it’s best to integrate respite into your weekly schedule. Home care is one way to do this. Having a team with the right training and supervision can offer hope in what is likely a long-term challenge with no other solutions.

Call us today if you would like to explore what solutions may be available for your situation.